Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Israel 'friendship visit' slated by evangelicals

WASHINGTON (BP) – A group of Christian leaders, hosted by National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, will travel to Israel Aug. 17-22 to show support for the Jewish state's right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas and other adversaries.

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Ronnie Floyd was invited to participate in the "Christians in Solidarity with Israel" trip, sponsored by NRB and coordinated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, but had other obligations. Among Christian leaders scheduled to participate are Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and president emeritus of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Anne Graham Lotz, president of AnGeL Ministries; and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

"I regret I could not be a part of these meetings in Israel due to previously scheduled engagements," Floyd told Baptist Press in written comments. "It would have been a joy to add my support and prayers for the nation of Israel. Southern Baptists have a heritage of affirming Israel's rights to exist as a sovereign state in its ancient homeland, having adopted numerous resolutions opposing anti-Semitism and affirming the nation of Israel at our annual meetings."

The trip will include visits with leaders and citizens of Israel, along with tours of the land, an NRB release stated.

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After teen's death, Baptists pray and serve

FERGUSON, Mo. (BP) – Missouri Baptists gathered for prayer Aug. 13 before a fifth night of turbulent protests erupted over the shooting death of an African American teenager by a local police officer.

The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by an unnamed Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9 garnered national attention after the teenager's death incited peaceful protests as well as several nights of upheaval in this St. Louis-area town.

During the night, looters broke windows, started fires and stole items from local stores. Racial tensions also came to the fore after Brown's death, partially because the Ferguson police force has only three African American officers in a community where two-thirds of the population is black. 

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Warren to hold Purpose Driven Church Conference in Rwanda in 2015

Warren announces 2015 conference while in Africa.KIGALI, Rwanda – Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, has announced plans to host the All Africa Purpose Driven Church Congress Aug. 6-10, 2015. 

The gathering of pastors and church leaders from all 54 African nations, will be held in conjunction with Rwanda Shima Imana, a Day of Thanksgiving to celebrate reconciliation and gratitude on the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. It will be the first of five annual continent-wide conferences to take place by 2020, with the second planned to be held in Latin America in 2016.

"I have been to Rwanda many times but this is by far my most important trip," said Warren. "This week I am bringing over 100 leaders from 30 African nations as well as Russia, China, India and the U.S. I want them to see what is happening in this country and to see the growth, development and progress that has been made in both this nation and its churches as we prepare for the 2015 gathering."

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Reports of alcohol-related family trouble remain up in U.S.

PRINCETON, N.J. - More than one in three Americans (36 percent ) say drinking alcohol has been a cause of problems in their family at some point, one of the highest figures Gallup has measured since the 1940s. Reports of alcohol-related family troubles have been much more common in recent decades than they were prior to 1990. Read more: http://www.gallup.com/poll/174200/reports-alcohol-related-family-trouble-remain.aspx


Georgia Baptist's Brewton-Parker College loses accreditation, plans to challenge SACS decision

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. – Brewton-Parker College, a Christian college affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, has been stripped of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Committee on Colleges (SACS COC), it was announced June 19.

The action against the college came following a formal interview with the college’s key leaders in San Antonio, Texas, June 17, a Brewton-Parker College news release said.

Ergun Caner, who was elected president of Brewton-Parker in December 2013, relayed the news to the college’s board of trustees by email, then shared the news in a called meeting for all staff, faculty and administration. “Of course we are disappointed in the decision of the executive committee of SACS COC taken today. 

Brewton-Parker College has been accredited by SACS for over fifty years (since 1962) and today is another step in the arduous journey that we have traveled since 2009.” Caner continued, “The most important points I can relay to you is that immediately after receiving the phone call, we have taken immediate steps to challenge this ruling and stay the loss of accreditation.” Another Georgia Baptist-affliated college, Shorter University, received SACS accreditation June 19. 

Shorter has cleared up any questions accreditation officials had about the number of the school’s faculty member and their qualification, the university announced June 19, according to the Rome (Ga.) newspaper.

Shorter University’s accreditation was approved by the commission in December 2012, renewing its status as a regionally accredited institution for 10 years. The commission, however, required Shorter to demonstrate that its staff is large enough and properly credentialed, the newspaper said.

SACS acknowledged that Shorter employs enough faculty to accomplish its mission and that the faculty’s credentials are satisfactory, the university said.

Read: Brewton-Parker College news release

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